Saturday, August 24, 2013

Makin' a List, Checking it Twice!

Makin' a list, checking it twice... nope, not time for Santa Claus to come to town... it's time to make my menu and grocery list for the week.  If I don't store it here with links to all the recipes, Thursday will roll around and I won't be able to find that recipe I need, and then, well.. you know... we will have breakfast for supper again.  Not that that's a bad thing, but you can only pull that trick out so many times in a week!

We are officially empty-nesters again, so it makes the grocery bill a little lower, and cooking a little easier, although #1 Son and Baby Girl will eat what I make for the most part.  I did like to get him things that they enjoyed that we won't touch.

August weather seems to be back, so I will take advantage of the warm nights by grilling a little more.  This has two advantages, 1) we don't heat up the kitchen and 2) MR does the cooking!  (The second reason is the best reason!)  I also have promised to make a treat for a birthday at work this week.  Fortunately, I am off on Monday so I will have time to do that without cutting into my evenings.

Lest you be fooled, making my menu every week is pretty time consuming.  We really want to eat healthy, but don't want to be bored.  Plus I hate wasting food, so I have to consider how I can re-purpose things all week.  It saves money if you plan carefully.  Less to purchase and no waste is always my goal.  It was really a lot easier when we just ate crap.  But, then that has its trade-offs too, doesn't it?  So I sit here every Saturday morning, perusing recipes, making my menu and also making my shopping list.  What do we have in the pantry?  What do we have in the freezer?  And on top of it, I try to turn it into a blog that is helpful to you... okay, and to me so all my recipes for the week are in one spot.  So here is the plan!

Paleo Shepherd's Pie - I love shepherd's pie for a lot of reasons.  The biggest one is because I can pretty much use whatever I have handy to make it!  It's a great way to use up leftover veg.  I haven't made it with sweet potato before, but this sounds yummy.  We (read MR) will have to make some homemade barbecue sauce so we can have the one tiny teaspoon of it this calls for, but then we will freeze the rest for another day!

This is how he makes barbecue sauce:  Dump 6 oz can of tomato paste into a bowl.  Fill the can halfway with water and then the rest of the way with apple cider vinegar, mix it up to get all the extra tomato off the sides of the can, then dump into the bowl with the paste.  Mix in 2 TBSP blackstrap molasses, and 1 TBSP mustard.  Voila!  Super easy barbecue sauce!  Freeze leftovers.

Also, I thought I would add PALEOMG Asian Marinated Crockpot Beef Spareribs to the menu but I pinched my finger in the lazy susan cabinet while I was checking to see if we had sesame oil.  We don't.  And now my finger hurts.  We are not having these.  (But you might like them.)

Burgers on the grill.  MR will eat it on a whole wheat bun (Trader Joe's sells one with no added sugar) and I will eat mine Paleo style.  I've been having some tummy issues lately so going to try to eat mostly Paleo for a couple weeks and see if it helps.  I will probably not need a lot of sweet potato for this so may make a few baked sweet potato fries for on the side.  Waste not, want not!

Beef Teriyaki Kabobs or is it kebabs?  These are from  They are Paleo, if you're into that.  I like them because they look super-easy!
While the recipe calls for chunks of pineapple, if you want you can grill some extra pineapple.  I absolutely love grilled pineapple paired with teriyaki.  Just cut some of it in big fat strips and throw it on the grill for a few minutes on each side.  If we don't use up all the pineapple this week, I will puree it and freeze it in ice cube trays to use in smoothies later.

Pizza!  Who doesn't want pizza?  MR would eat it everyday.  I will make
this gluten-free paleo-style recipe for me and use a Trader Joe's whole wheat crust for him.  That way we both have lots of leftovers for lunches!

PALEOMG Mexican Salad is really easy to make and can be adapted to make everyone happy.  I will eat it with some salad greens, MR might have some tortilla chips.  You could probably serve it in a tortilla bowl, or wrapped in hard or soft tortillas for that matter!

Steak and caramelized peach salad - I haven't made this before, but I got the biggest peaches you have ever seen from the farmer's market last night.  You could play softball with these babies!  And the peaches this year have been just amazingly sweet and juicy.  So I figure, meat plus peaches ought to be a winner!

I am making s'mores cupcakes (NOT CLEAN!) for work and I thought it would be nice to bring in (mostly) clean gourmet s'mores  for those of us who don't eat so much junk  The graham crackers in the link are not paleo but here is a recipe that is.  I am going to try them paleo this time.  I really hope they work out! 

In case you want to know how to make s'mores cupcakes, just make Devil's food cupcakes (yes, from a mix!), sprinkle the tops with crushed graham crackers (yes, from a box!) before baking; mix about 1:1 ratio of marshmallow fluff with cream cheese frosting (yes, from a can!), and pipe onto baked and cooled cupcakes.  Top with a sprinkle of crushed graham crackers (yes, still from a box!) and decorate with a square of Hershey's chocolate.
<-----This was the old me

The new me will eat Gourmet S'mores.  These are not nearly as difficult as they sound. You can make the graham crackers the day before if that helps with timing.  The only slightly unclean thing about the gourmet s'mores is the gelatin in the fluff.  But these are meant to be a treat so shouldn't completely throw you off track to just have occasionally.  Recipe for (mostly) clean gourmet s'mores

Dip them twice in chocolate (cooling between dips) and they will look better than this.  
This was my first attempt.  I got better with practice, and not much practice, at that!

Have a clean week!

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